Open Ocean Restoration Area

Bluefin tuna swimmingRestoration work in the Open Ocean Restoration Area focuses on restoring the living marine resources and their services that were injured by the spill. The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group, comprised of the federal trustees, works together to restore wide-ranging and migratory species, including birds, Gulf sturgeon, fish and water column invertebrates, sea turtles, marine mammals, and deep-sea coral communities.

We work to restore these species throughout their life stages and geographic ranges, including inland, coastal, and offshore areas. Therefore, we may use some funds for restoration outside of the Gulf of Mexico. We coordinate with state trustees, especially when proposed projects overlap their jurisdictions.

Together, we develop project-specific restoration plans that are consistent with the programmatic restoration plan (see chart below). As part of the restoration planning process, we accept restoration project ideas from the public. The public also has the opportunity to review and comment on proposed project-specific restoration plans for the Open Ocean Restoration Area. Once plans are approved, we begin implementation and monitoring of the selected projects.

Restoration Plans

Open Ocean Restoration Plan 3
Open Ocean Restoration Plan 2
Open Ocean Restoration Plan 1

Recent News

Looking for a particular news item or document related to the Alabama6 Restoration Page? View the story archive.

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a large loggerhead turtle is shown in front of a reef

Sea turtles were among the many marine species in

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a white bird flies over the blue ocean

The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group held

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a small white bird with a black head is perched up on a rock

The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group will

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a loon is shown in the water on top of an artificial nesting platform

When common loons returned this year to their

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three spotted pantropical dolphins jump out of the water while swimming

Setting sail from Mississippi in June into the

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a school of small tuna fish are pictured in blue water

Đọc tường thuật bằng tiếng Việt. (Read this

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a man on a fishing boat throws a line off the side

A new video from the Oceanic Fish Restoration

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a couple stands on a beach with an orange sunset in the background

Through the cooperation and coordination of five

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Cape St. Mary's Gannet parent and chick touch beaks with nest material under them

The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group has

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5 tiny turtle hatchlings crawl along a sandy beach

To support restoration planning and evaluation of

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Colorful orange and pink feather duster-like crinoids and corals populate a dark underwater habitat.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill damaged deep-sea

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black and white loon on a green background

The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group  held

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A man investigates fishing nets on board a boat.

To restore fish populations in the Gulf of Mexico

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A sea turtle underwater

A project to develop a new type of turtle excluder

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School of chub fish in the Gulf of Mexico

The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group  held

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A group of northern gannets gather on a beach. Credit: Daniel Lerps/Creative Commons

The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group has

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A remotely operated vehicle is lifted onto a ship deck by a large mechanical arm.

The Open Ocean Trustees and partners are

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On a Mississippi Gulf Coast beach looking out to the water with a pier.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill Natural Resource

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Deep sea coral and sea stars on the Florida Escarpment in the Gulf of Mexico. NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

The Open Ocean Trustees are bringing together a

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Aerial view of a beach with grassy dunes meeting the Gulf of Mexico.

In July, the Open Ocean Trustee Implementation

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A school of creole wrasse (Clepticus parrae) swim along the reef. Location: Gulf of Mexico, Flower Garden Banks

The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group held

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Anglers fishing on kayaks in Texas, near Port Aransas. Copyright Texas Parks and Wildlife

The Trustee Council will hold its sixth annual

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Kayakers paddle around commercial fishing boats at docks as the sun sets.

Update: Join us for a fish restoration strategy

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Colorful coral reef at 35 meters of depth in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Image: NOAA NMS

The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group held

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Bridge and coast can be seen from a boat. A fishing reel and pole is in the foreground, in front of the boat's wake. Image: Florida Fish and Wildlife

On behalf of the Open Ocean Trustee Implementation

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Black terns are one bird species being restored by a project from the 2019 Open Ocean Restoration Plan 1.

The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group will

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Scientists deploy equipment to take oxygen measurements in the Gulf of Mexico. Image: LUMCON/LSU

On July 22, 2020 the Open Ocean Restoration Area

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A small fishing tackle box with a sticker that says "Get the Lead Out."

Help is on the way for common loons thanks to a

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A school of Horse-eye jacks in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Trustee Council will hold its fifth annual

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Sunset over dunes and marsh in Destin Florida, a dolphin dorsal fin breaches the water in the foreground.

In 2019, the Deepwater Horizon Trustees continued

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A fishing vessel equipped with Green Stick alternative gear out on the water at dusk.

After three successful project years, the National

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Loggerhead turtle with rocky reef behind it.

The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group held

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Underwater image of colorful deep sea corals in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group will

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Shrimping boats lined up in the water in Fulton Harbor, Texas.

In response to both extenuating weather conditions

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Colorful deep-sea mushroom coral in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group

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Scientists on a boat observe the ocean with binoculars.

The Open Ocean Trustees will hold an outreach

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An endangered Bryd'es whale surfaces in the Gulf of Mexico.

Updated July 22, 2019 The Open Ocean Trustee

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Aerial view of a sperm whale breaching in the Gulf of Mexico

These public engagement opportunities will happen

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A scientist's hand holds up a small fish on the surface of water.

The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group has

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A fish is hooked in the water next to a boat, being pulled into the boat.

The Deepwater Horizon Oceanic Fish Restoration

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Scientists releasing a sea turtle tagged with a tracking device.

The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group held

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A squat lobster resides on a deep sea octocoral.

The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group will

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A diver operates a camera in a coral nursery.

The Trustees are committed to providing annual

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A section of the newly re-opened Jeff Friend Trail in Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama.

In January, the Jeff Friend Trail at Bon Secour

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White Pelican the Gulf of Mexico. Credit U.S. Dept of Interior

The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group has

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Examples of lures used with greenstick gear, an alternative gear option for project participants

The Deepwater Horizon Oceanic Fish Restoration

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Fishing equipment

The Oceanic Fish Restoration Project is helping to

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American oystercatcher

The Open Ocean Restoration Area webinar was held

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Residents greet arriving ferries

Sailing towards Pensacola’s Plaza de Luna under a

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green turtle on a beach

It’s been one year since we settled with BP and

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green stick fishing vessel

Seven Louisiana fishers have volunteered to stop

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bluefin tuna

The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group (TIG)

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Sea turtle and net

The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group is

Projects

Projects led by the trustees for the Alabama6 Restoration Area are below. Use the filters below to search for specific projects. Learn more about individual projects below or view them in our interactive map. You can also learn about the environmental compliance for each of these projects

Planning

Planning led by the trustees for the Florida Restoration Area are below. Use the filters below to search for specific planning efforts.

Open Ocean Allocation of Restoration Funds

The chart shows the restoration funding allocated to the Open Ocean Restoration Area for each restoration goal and the percentage of committed funds as of May 2023. For more information on the allocation of funds, please visit the Department of Justice Deepwater Horizon page.

Open Ocean Restoration Area funding chart May 2021.

Monitoring and Adaptive Management

The Open Ocean Trustees consider monitoring and adaptive management throughout their restoration efforts. To find project-related monitoring and adaptive management information, click on the projects listed in the table above, or view a project’s monitoring activities through our interactive project map.

In addition to project-specific monitoring, we developed a Monitoring and Adaptive Management Strategy (PDF, 23 pages) that provides a framework to inform restoration planning and evaluate the outcomes of Open Ocean restoration.

The Open Ocean Restoration area also has Monitoring and Adaptive Management Activity Implementation Plans.

Trustee Implementation Group

The trustees for the Open Ocean Restoration Area are:

Contact:  openocean.TIG@noaa.gov